Plastics in Asphalt – Current State of Practice

Plastics in Asphalt – Current State of Practice

The asphalt industry has a long history of using greenhouse gas reducing materials such as reclaimed asphalt pavement, recycled tire rubber, and more to build ever more sustainable roads. As countries stop importing waste plastics, the question of “What to do with our plastic waste?” has grown. One potential solution is to use recycled plastic in asphalt.

As strong supporters of recycling responsibly, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is working alongside other partners within the asphalt pavement industry and with plastics manufacturers to study the practical feasibility of reusing plastics in asphalt pavements.

NAPA has launched a webpage to showcase the start of our research.  Many questions remain related to the long-term performance impact of plastic in asphalt pavements, the true environmental impacts, potential material cost increases, worker health & safety, operational feasibility, and the eventual re-recyclability of asphalt mixtures that incorporate plastic in “first generation” plastics enhanced asphalt mixtures.

The NAPA plastics in asphalt dedicated webpage is located here.  NAPA most current publication on the state of knowledge regarding plastics in asphalt is provided here.

COVID-19 Response Resources & Reports

COVID-19 Response Resources & Reports

WAPA recognizes the impact the COVID-19 (aka novel coronavirus) is having on your business, employees, and families. We know the safety and health of your employees is your priority. During these challenging times, WAPA strives to serve as a trusted resource for your company and employees.   A central location for resources for the asphalt industry is being hosted at the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) website.  The NAPA COVID-19 launch page is HERE.

NAPA is working daily, in conjunction with the State Asphalt Pavement Associations (SAPAs), to provide key resources gathered from around the country.

During this time of unprecedented uncertainty, WAPA urges you to stay informed, stay healthy and stay safe.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) suspended nearly all highway and ferry system contract work as of March 26, 2020 after the Governor elected to not designate highway construction work an “essence service” during the duration of his “Stay home, stay safe” executive order.   Previously, on March 19th, WSDOT instituted a COVID-19 Response Plan directive.  All active WSDOT contracts require Contractor/ Subcontractor derived and approved COVID-19 health and safety plans to be approved and in place for construction work to resume.  Contractors should continue to work with their WSDOT project office contacts to review/ refine and update these plans so there will be minimal conflict and maximum COVID safety on active project sites.

On April 24, 2020, the Governor signed Proclamation 20-25, defining a path for projects with low-risk activities to re-start.  Low risk basically means that work can be performed safely with 6-feet of physical distancing in concert with COVID-19 appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) – Key documents and resources specific to Washington state and Phase 1 rules are available HERE.  Included  in this link are letters from WAPA supporting the re-start highway construction projects and supporting federal funding increases for surface transportation construction.

The Washington State Dept. of Labor and Industries published its Washington-Coronavirus-Hazard-Considerations-for-Employers-5-2-2020 (1) – Mask Matrix.  This “face covering matrix” came after a lot of discernment by L & I.  It is a good reference for which types of face mask will be needed by crews at different levels of potential COVID-19 exposure.  This should be a key reference going forward as road construction crews continue to work under COVID safety protocols.

COVID-19 site specific health and safety work plans need to address key items such as pre-shift screening, physical distancing (6 feet means 6 feet), PPE and minimizing physical interchanges (no contact tickets, virtual meetings etc.).  There are good templates of  COVID-19 health and safety plans posted on the NAPA website.  Washington state phase designated COVID-19 guidelines need to be incorporated into any plans for construction in our state.

Phase 2 guidance for construction was published on May 15, 2020.  The COVID Phase 2 Job Site Requirements – 5.15.2020 outline the requirements for COVID site safety once a county has been designated as being eligible to move to Phase 2 opening status.  The Governors COVID19 Phase2 Construction Memo 5.15.2020 summarizes this phase of activity.

In Washington state we are relying on the standards included in the Phase 1 & Phase 2 COVID Job Site Requirements and the Dept. of Labor and Industries “Mask Matrix” (see links above).  OSHA has also issued COVID related guidance that includes some additional information that should be helpful in planning for construction crew protection.

Another source of information, targeted specifically to the public works community, is available at the American Public Works Association (APWA) resource webpage titled “Coronavirus and the Public Works Community“.

UPDATE: WSDOT and state highway Contractors have been very effective in working safely and in protecting our employees.  WSDOT issued this report – COVID 19 Response – for state highway projects built in 2020.  As a work sector, the highway contracting COVID infection rates is approx. 20% (2.8 per thousand) of the comparable statewide infection rate (14.4 per thousand).

There are no anticipated work stoppages for WSDOT highway construction contracts in 2021 PROVIDED that Contractors renew/ refresh their COVID-19 site specific health and safety work plan when construction projects begin and adhere to the plan.  Meetings/ interactions with WSDOT will remain largely virtual through at least July 2021 and will be assessed throughout the season as COVID-19 statistics are assessed by the Governor.

New WAPA Associate Members for 2020

New WAPA Associate Members for 2020

WAPA welcomes its three newest Associate Member companies:  BOMAG Americas, Rainier Asphalt and Eagle Crusher.  

BOMAG Americas represents one of the world’s premier asphalt roller manufacturers.

www.Bomag.com

Rainier Asphalt is a top-notch commercial & residential paving company working in the metro Puget Sound area (Seattle-Bellevue and Everett to Tacoma markets).

www.RainierAsphalt.com

Eagle Crusher Co. manufacturers a wide range of innovative and high-quality crushing equipment, a key component of the HMA industry.

www.eaglecrusher.com

A list of all of WAPA’s fabulous Associate Members are on-line at the Associate Members section of our website (http://www.asphaltwa.com/associate-members/)

Welcome to BOMAG, Rainier Asphalt and Eagle Crusher!

 

Asphalt Pavements Perform! APA & FHWA Videos

Asphalt Pavements Perform! APA & FHWA Videos

When it comes to flexibility, asphalt pavements provide Performance for a Lifetime.

Watch this quick APA video highlighting the sustainability, innovation, value and flexibility of today’s asphalt pavements!

And please also review these three recent FHWA videos covering Asphalt Pavement Principles (select the topic in the upper right hand corner of the video block).

 

 

Women of Asphalt Features Several WAPA Team Members

Women of Asphalt Features Several WAPA Team Members

Just Released Podcast – Women in Leadership Roles – FHWA & State DOTs –

Where We Belong kicks off our phenomenal series on women in leadership roles within state DOTs and the FHWA. In the first podcast, hosts Amy Miller and Tracie Schlich sit down with Nicole Nason, Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to discuss her recently confirmed position, the growing number of women in leadership positions at the Department of Transportation and how women in male dominated industries often reflect the unique, resilient qualities of asphalt.

Women of Asphalt – 20 to Watch in 2020!

Please visit the national 20 to Watch in 2020 campaign from the Women of Asphalt highlighting some of the many women who thrive in their asphalt industry careers included two (2) women (Karen Deal of Lakeside Industries and Beth Duffus of Granite Construction) working at WAPA Member companies.  The entire set of  profiles can be viewed at the Women of Asphalt website.

Karen Deal – Lakeside Industries

Beth Duffus – Granite Construction

Asphalt Pavement Alliance Western & Pacific Coast Regional Council Blog On-Line

Asphalt Pavement Alliance Western & Pacific Coast Regional Council Blog On-Line

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) has begun publishing its Western / Pacific Coast Regional Council Blog, The Western & Pacific Smooth Ride Sentinel, featuring articles and resources targeted to this APA region.  You can find the blog at https://apapacific.com/

Jon Young, the Executive Director for the Hawaii Asphalt Pavement Industry (HAPI) is the current leader of the Western / Pacific Coast Council.  Please contact Jon with asphalt pavement related articles of interest from the region.

The APA will soon have its four regional councils for the USA in place.  As part of its continuing refinement of advocacy across the country, the Pacific Coast Regional Council approved the addition of  several western states to its regional effort at the 2019 NAPA Annual Meeting, thus forming the Western/ Pacific Regional Council.

Upcoming WAPA & Industry Events (2021)

Past (2020) Events

WAPA/ WSDOT Joint Training Sessions – March 3rd, 4th & 5th, 2020 – Moses Lake, Centralia & Lynnwood WA – Conference Presentations

WAPA Annual Meeting & WAPA/WSDOT/APWA/WSACE 2020 Paving Awards Presentations – November 12th & 13th – A Virtual Event –  Meeting Presentations and Paving Awards link

2021 Events

NAPA Annual Meeting – A Virtual Event – February 16-18 – Register at www.asphaltpavement.org

WAPA/WSDOT 34th Annual Joint Training Workshop – A Virtual Conference – Thursday, March 11 – The Agenda is viewable here.  The presentations released for sharing can be viewed here.

WAPA 2021 Mid-Year Meeting – May 13-14 – A Virtual Conference – The Agenda is viewable here: 2021 WAPA Mid-Year Full Agenda 4.30.21.  The Zoom links to the virtual events will be forwarded to registered attendees/ invited guests the week prior to the meeting dates.  Registration is by invitation only – Request a registration link by contacting April.Tinnin@AsphaltWA.com

Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Fly-In – May 19-20 – Washington, D.C.

WAPA Annual Meeting & WAPA/WSDOT/APWA/WSACE 2021 Paving Awards Presentations – November 4-5 – Bellevue Hyatt Regency, Bellevue Washington (please note: This event is one week earlier than traditionally held due to Veteran’s Day observance the following week